Niche viewership makes channels dearer to advertisers

Written by Shaheen Mansuri | Mumbai | Updated: Jul 17 2010, 08:08am hrs
Advertisers, of late, have started paying a premium for advertisement slots on lifestyle channels like Discovery Travel and Living, NDTV Good Times and even youth genre channels like UTV Bindass and MTV, according to media buyers. One of the prime reasons for specialty channels drawing a premium on ads is because they have a defined profile of target audience which makes it easier for brands to connect with anticipated consumers.

According to a recent Ficci-KPMG report, niche channels command a 2% market share in the country whereas in neighbouring economies like Hong Kong, they command a 10%market share. In Singapore, it is even higher at 16%.

Says a media planner who did not wish to be named, Though the cost per rating point (CPRP) is much lower in specialised channels when compared to GECs, advertisers are still willing to pay a premium for advertising their brand on those channels. For example, an advertiser for stylised mobile phone or a premium brand for watches will not mind paying anything between Rs 7,000-Rs 9,000 per rating point on a youth channel, which is 20% more than the routine episodes of daily soaps on a GEC.

Currently, India has five major lifestyle channels NDTV Good Times, Discovery, National Geographic, Animal Planet and History channel out of a total of 461 channels being aired. This is in contrast to some of the other Asian economies like Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia where almost 5-10 lifestyle and 10-15 infotainment channels are present. Also, the number of channels being aired in these countries is less.

Says Divya Radhakrishnan, president, TME, Despite having a low CPRP, niche and specialty channels command a premium for ad slots as lifestyle brands prefer these channels because of the target audience. For example, an advertiser would want a lifestyle brand to be visible on a youth genre channel like MTV rather then a general entertainment channel. Also, ad rates between a general entertainment channel and niche channels cannot be compared owing to a difference in audience profile. CPRP is a cost per rating point that an advertiser is willing to pay, depending on the genre of the channel and its target audience.

The Ficci-KPMG report says that the CPRP on the Colors channel during 2009 was Rs 18,000-20,000, whereas for a niche channel like NDTV Good Times, it was Rs 1,800. These channels offer a cost-effective medium to advertisers looking to target a select set of audiences.

Says MK Anand, CEO, UTV Broadcasting, Niche channels like UTV Bindass are doing very good in terms of advertising revenue. Audiences are migrating from GEC to specialised channels. A media planner says that advertisers pay a premium for focussed audience group on niche channels, similar to higher ad rates commanded by English newspapers with lower circulation but more focussed segmentation in the print industry.